Memories

its interesting to see that folktales and legends are all part of a collective memory. i think much is slowly fading away, eroded by the distractions of modernity. but it is this same modernity that is keeping some of our folktales alive… Check out some interesting websites on folktales i’ve chanced upon in preparation for writing the Memory Tree

here’s a list of Indian stories (www.4to40.com/story/default.asp?article=story_index), and if you click the tabs, you can find poetry, legends and folktales. some are illustrated with fine drawings.

on a different vein is Aaron Shepherd (www.aaronshep.com). he writes beautifully simply! if you discover similar treasures, please share them here….

~ saigontaitai

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4 Comments

  1. April 27, 2006 at 1:15 am

    “folktales and legends are all part of a collective memory” — I couldn’t agree more. Yes, the earlier folktales & legends do fade with time. Perhaps the theory of evolution also applies to stories, where the “fittest” story (i.e. those that remain relevant) will survive. Oral stories are in competition with TV, movies, Internet… arguably different formats of “storytelling” by themselves.

    I see what you mean about “it is this same modernity that is keeing some of our folktales alive”. The 4to40 website certainly is an example of how IT is keeping the stories alive. In theory, archived copies in digital formats (including webpages) should remain retrievable, perhaps lasting longer than print… well, unless the power runs out and there’s some major data crash *shudder*.

  2. yan&ying said,

    April 29, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    > In theory, archived copies in digital formats (including webpages) should
    > remain retrievable, perhaps lasting longer than print…

    Bruce Sterling has a very interesting take on the “immortality” of digital data in his fiction Holy Fire. Platforms and data formats can get outdated or ousted from the market fairly rapidly. Maybe not ascii text, but for more complicated multimedia formats … eg, VRML crashed and burned despite a decently large user base because of a monopoly on the development of the format. Ouch, all that collective effort that went into mastering the program…. wasted…

    > Yes, the earlier folktales & legends do fade with time. Perhaps the theory of
    > evolution also applies to stories, where the “fittest” story (i.e. those that
    > remain relevant) will survive.

    I think the distribution network and method plays a large part in which story (or which version of the story) stays afloat. It depends on how long the reach is. The large distribution giants are pretty scary in that aspect. God forbid the small children think that all fairy tales came from Disney because they never heard or seen anything else from other sources.

  3. saigontaitai said,

    April 29, 2006 at 11:18 pm

    I guess from the story we’re trying to create, we’re trying to show how the collective memory, originally transmitted through the oral tradition, is slowly being eroded by the invasion of technology which seems to entertain as much but may not carry the life of memories built upon each other. Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts. It has certainly helped shape our coming tale….

  4. April 29, 2006 at 11:55 pm

    Hmm… stories from The Memory Tree as an analogy of Data and knowledge management systems? Maybe not too far off you know. We’ll keep this at the back of our minds. Of cos we must decide that it’s a Children’s Story that we are going to tell and so should just stick to an entertaining story for that particular audience.


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